Westcon GM takes a holistic approach

Incoming Westcon Convergence General Manager for UK&I, Ioan MacRae, has wasted no time in setting out a strategy for growth based on a more holistic view of partner enablement across the entire product portfolio.

MacRae, who replaces Tim Brooks, boasts an impressive CV which includes a 12 year stint at Mettoni Group (acquired by Enghouse in 2010). In his early career at Mettoni MacRae worked primarily with Nortel partners under the Datapulse brand, many of which are now partners with Westcon Convergence. During a four year stint in Dubai, MacRae worked as Enghouse MD for the Middle East and Africa region.

His past experience plays into the hands of Westcon, building on strong channel relationships already forged at Mettoni.

He now aims to work with Westcon Convergence partners on multiple levels with a sharpened focus on forging stronger relationships with vendors and resellers across the board.

MacRae told Comms Dealer that he will further develop the channel support offered by Westcon, building on the already strong marketing and technical support, as well assisting resellers in becoming a ‘one stop shop' with multiple vendor solutions.

"We want to move more towards holistic solution-based selling rather than a single product sell," he commented.

Key to this, MacRae believes, will be encouraging deeper relationships with both vendors and reseller partners, an area which he says will be a primary focus.

"Differentiation is going to come from being able to sell an eco-solution comprising multiple vendors," he added.

"This is what we want to start taking to our channels about and educate them so that they in turn can take it to an end user."

According to MacRae achieving the stand-out required for success in a competitive market depends on holistic solution provision, with the components fitting neatly together. "Our vendors are eco-partners, all of them know each other and are already integrated," MacRae added.

"It's getting harder to differentiate in terms of what portfolio products you have and what price you can sell it for."

Of particular interest to MacRae is the mid-market where the convergence of platforms means resellers of all backgrounds are starting to compete. "For example, IP Office is no longer just a SME product," MacRae added. "It can start small, but with the 8.1 release can scale to 2,000 seats.

"You'll see people with a background in 35-60 seat deployments realise there's no reason why they can't start selling to 500-1,000 seat offices, and people from the enterprise space do the same and start considering the mid-market."

As well as the Avaya voice and data kit bag, another key plank in Westcon's assault on the mid-market is Siemens.

The distributor recently embarked on a Siemens mid-market channel sales campaign that aligns with the requirements of end users and their growing demand for a comprehensive UC solution.

The Westcon Convergence portfolio eco-system was again extended two months ago when the company became the first Pan-EMEA distribution partner for Microsoft's Lync-in-a-Box solutions catalogue. "Westcon's portfolio of hardware solutions are fundamental for Lync deployments," he added.

The catalogue brings together tested and qualified phones, gateways, video and USB devices for Microsoft Lync so partners and customers can take advantage of the broad choice, price range and variety of hardware solutions for Lync, in a simpler and more efficient way.

MacRae added: "We will provide greater customer focus and enable partners to sell and support complete solutions based on our holistic product eco-system."

Can't open socket